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    Thread: Detailing Forum "How-To"

    1. Administrator Emeritus adg44's Avatar
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      06-16-2003 04:40 PM #1
      Since there are a lot of repeat threads in here about "What is the best wax", "How should I wax my car", "Swirl Removal?", "How to properly wash a car", etc etc. This can be a first stop for getting information you may need.

      Here is how this works. Everyone choose a subject they wish to explain (that they know very well) and post it. Since there are so many different techniques for detailing a car, repeat posts are fine.

      I will do some write-ups later when I have some more time.

      But for now, go at it. Happy Detailing!

      - Anthony

      Formerly Anthony@VMG

    2. 06-16-2003 09:53 PM #2
      a pretty good Auto detailing Forum

      http://www.autopia.org/forums/index.php?s=


      within that forum are these good threads

      The Definitive Porter Cable Accessorizing Thread
      POST BY 4DSC

      Quote »

      GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

      Porter Cable dual action random orbital buffer / polisher / sander
      2500-6000 opm (orbits per minute)
      3.7 amps, AC motor
      5/16", 24 thread shaft / spindle diameter (aka "5/16-24")
      5/32" eccentric offset (orbit radius)

      5.75 lbs weight
      10" length (body)
      <14" size of box needed incl. cord sheath
      4" width
      4.5" height
      +5.5" with side handle

      Model 7424 polisher includes 5 inch counterweight, 6 inch polishing pad 54745 *
      Model 7424SP sander/polisher includes 5 inch counterweight, 6 inch polishing pad 54745, 5 inch sanding pad 13700, Meguiar's cleaner wax
      Model 7335 sander includes 5 inch counterweight, 5 inch sanding pad 13700

      Model 7336 sander includes 6 inch counterweight, 6 inch sanding pad 16000
      Model 7336SP sander/polisher includes 6 inch counterweight, 6 inch sanding pad 16000, 6 inch polishing pad 54745, possibly wax also

      Models 97355 and 97366 are just the 7335 and 7336 with dust collection parts

      BACKING PADS & COUNTERWEIGHTS

      Meguiar's W-64DA backing pad is 5" diameter
      Classic Motoring Accessories (CMA) VBP-6 backing pad is 6" diameter
      Griot's Garage backing pad for their 7336 is actually Porter Cable 18001 6" sanding pad (Thanks to Len_A for this info)
      3m Hookit pads - all these pads are yellow and NOT to be confused with Hookit II:
      Hookit Disc Pad 05775 is 5" (tapered edge)
      Hookit Disc Pad 05776 is 6" (tapered edge)
      Hookit Low Profile Disc Pad 05755 is 5" (almost flat edge)
      Hookit Low Profile Disc Pad 05756 is 6" (almost flat edge)

      All the above pads are velcro backed.

      Porter Cable sanding pads:
      5" standard (solid) adhesive-backed (non-velcro) pad 13700 (comes with 7424sp, 7335)
      6" standard (solid) adhesive-backed (non-velcro) pad 16000 (comes with 7336, 7336sp)

      5" 5-hole Hook & Loop (velcro) pad 15000 (standard), and pad 15001 ("contour" type - softer, thicker for PC's really thin polishing pads)
      6" 6-hole Hook & Loop (velcro) pad 18001 (standard) (comes with Griot's 7336 PC), and pad 18002 ("contour") (comes with Coastal Tool's 7424 bonus kit)

      Porter Cable counterweights (see above for equipped models):
      5" Counterweight 874011
      6" Counterweight 699933
      Counterweights are attached with 2 Torx screws, size 15 ( T15 ). *


      Two of the most popular PC kits and backing pads (or backup plates ) are the ones from Meguiar's and CMA. While it has been recommended in the past to match the counterweight to the diameter of the backing pad, recent posts (deleted by the server outage) have shown users to be happier with using the heavier 6" counterweight with the 5" Meguiar's backing pad. They report less vibration and smoother running at higher speed settings with this combination than when they were using the 5" counterweight. This seems to be the smoothest running combination (5" pad with 6" weight) especially at higher speed settings. A combination of a 6" pad (such as the CMA pad) with 6" weight also performs very well and is preferable to using the 5" weight. I spent some time testing some various combinations of weights and backing pads in this thread: PC Vibration Test which reinforces what a small number of users have told me about the 6" weight/pad combo. The current recommendation for buying a PC is to simply buy a 7336 series model or buy the PC 7424 Bonus Kit from Coastal Tool. This kit includes an extra 6" counterweight and the 18002 sanding pad. Alternatively you can try buying a 6" counterweight separately if you own a machine equipped with the 5" weight. People always had trouble in the past where they had to buy a separate counterweight once they bought a 7424 and the 6" CMA kit. Buy a 7336 or Coastal Tool kit and save yourself the trouble.

      Failure to get a well balanced combination of counterweight and pads MAY result in increased wear and shorter life for your PC (not to mention sore hands), especially if you run it at high speeds a lot. That is not to say you absolutely cannot use a 5" weight and your PC will self-destruct instantly, but it may not be best in the long run and it just doesn't seem to be the best handling setup. The owner's manual also recommends that you have your PC inspected and serviced (if needed) after about 100 hours of usage by an authorized service center.

      Both 5" and 6" backing pads will work with commonly used 6.5"(or even 8") polishing pads. They do not have to match their diameter or anything, just stay firmly attached.

      * Occasionally some people get an oddball PC with a mismatching counterweight (ie, 6" on the 7424) or different sized Torx screws (try T20 if T15 doesn't fit).

      SIDEBAR: What's that funny black washer for? Some people who have already purchased their PC's have been bewildered by this odd plastic or fiberboard washer that comes with their machine. According to Porter Cable, it is intended to fit between the backing pad and the spindle. The PC I bought came with this washer pre-installed on the backing pad, but often it's loose in a bag. My personal theory for why it goes here is so that it gives additional clearance between the pad and unit so getting the wrench in between them is easier.


      FOAM PADS AND KITS

      I'm going to try to keep this short since others will know more, and the hardest part about PC ownership seems to be just trying to get the pads on! I've only included the smaller 6" (really 6.5") pads because they are the most handy and popular, although some prefer the larger 8" size for some jobs. This listing is NOT exhaustive, as there are lots of other makes and types of pads available out there (CMA alone has many other types).

      CMA 6.5" Durofoam Variable Contact (VC) foam pads:
      These pads have a dish or depression on the middle face of the pad so that they are not flat, but slightly concave - hence the "variable contact" name.
      - Lambswool Leveling Pad 77-216
      - Yellow Cutting Pad 46-570VC
      - White Polishing Pad 46-670VC
      - Grey / Gray Finishing Pad 46-770VC
      - Porter Cable Accessory Kit DM-KIT (includes 6" backing pad, 1 cutting pad, 2 polishing pads, 1 finishing pad, 1 lambswool compounding pad, 2 terry bonnets)
      - Detailing Accessory Package DAP-KIT (identical to above but no 6" backing pad)
      - It's worth noting that Lake Country manufactures CMA pads. If you'd like to know the exact specific type of pad that any of the above are, note the CMA part number matches the part number you can find on the Lake Country website.

      CMA 4 Inch Spot Repair Pads:
      CMA sells these neat little pads with their own 3.5" diameter backing plate. The pads are only 4 inches big, so they're designed for repairing scratches and handy for polishing in tight areas. Not a lot of mention on the forum about this yet, but it sounds like a good idea. http://www.properautocare.com/4inspotreppa.html

      Meguiar's 6.5" Softbuff foam pads:
      These pads are flat faced pads, unlike the CMA ones. 8 inch pads are specified by replacing the "6" with a "0" in the item number.
      - Lambswool Cut 'n Shine Wool Pad W-4006 (yes, they DO make this!)
      - Maroon / Red / Purple Cutting Pad W-7006
      - Yellow Polishing Pad W-8006
      - Tan / Beige Finishing Pad W-9006
      - Set of 3 Pads WDAV99-B (includes 2 polishing pads, 1 finishing pad)
      - WDAV99 (identical to above kit but includes 5" backing pad and reportedly costs $8 more)

      Porter Cable 6" OEM foam polishing pad:
      White polishing pad with integral (permanent, possibly 5") backing plate, part number 54745 Even though Coastal Tool claims that this pad may be used with either the 5" or 6" counterweight, I have determined that (based on 2 members' experiences) that this pad works smoothly only with the 5" weight and vibrates excessively at high speeds with the 6" weight.
      Porter Cable also makes a 6" lambs wool velcro backed polishing pad part number 18007

      3M makes good pads, but only their 6.75" Perfect-it DA Glazing Pad 05729 is smaller than 8 inches. It appears that this pad is intended for use only with glazes and wax application, not polishing, so it may not be best suited for that use. Several members here like these type of pads with their convoluted foam face design that looks like fingers or a waffle type. These other pads are meant for rotary buffers and are 8" or larger, but might work with the PC.

      Link to all of 3M's polishing stuff (except backing pads)
      http://products3.3m.com/catalo..._html

      LINKS

      http://www.properautocare.com (aka CMA)
      http://www.meguiars.com (also have a tutorial about PC usage)
      http://www.griotsgarage.com (be sure to download his useful guide to PC usage in PDF format)
      http://www.portercable.com
      http://www.coastaltool.com


      Relative abrasiveness of 3M products
      POST BY 4DSC

      Quote »

      hanks for the question about 3M Car Care Products. It's difficult to give a perfect answer to your question because of the variety of tools and pads used to perform this function. They too can have an effect on the aggressiveness of the different products. But here is our best advice on the subject. I've identified both cut (how quickly it removes material - the higher the number the faster it cuts) and finish (how smooth the surface is after application - 0 being very high gloss). The perfect product would have a very high cut number and a very low finish number.

      Swirl Mark Remover: 25 cut, 2 finish (this product contains no waxes or silicones - wax should be applied as a second step)

      Medium Oxidation Remover: 45 cut, 2 finish (this product also has a wax in it which makes the finish look better) ...therefore Med. Ox. Remover should get rid of the scratches/oxidation/watermarks quicker and leave a very similar finish.

      The next most aggressive product would be Perfect-it II Rubbing Compound, 39002: Cut=65, Finish=12. Typically a professional would use Perfect-it II to get rid of all imperfections, then Swirl mark remover to remove the minor scratches or swirlmarks left from the compounding stage and then a wax. When working by hand you can often go straight from 39002 to a wax/polish.

      Hope this helps.

      Bill Wheeler
      3M Automotive Aftermarket Division

      Modified by GeneH at 9:57 AM 6-17-2003


      Modified by GeneH at 10:01 AM 6-17-2003


    3. Member Triumph's Avatar
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      06-17-2003 10:19 AM #3
      Popular drying methods

      Since I don't feel like going through the entire process of washing your car, I'll focus on one aspect of it: the drying. But I'll make a few notes on washing, because they relate to drying.

      Washing: Wash your car when it is cool and in the shade. Air drying is the main cause of water spots, and the heat from the sun and the paint surface only amplifies the effect.
      Rinsing: For rinsing, remove whatever nozzle you usually use from your hose, and rinse the car with the open end of the hose, with a low water pressure. You don't need a jet of water pummeling your car now that it's clean. Just let the water "fall" onto the surface, and you'll see the difference! Definitely helps with the drying process.

      Drying: Popular products
      100% Cotton Towels - True 100% cotton towels will not scratch your paint, and are fairly cheap, but they don't absorb water very well. There's also a chance of "100%" towels not really being 100% cotton. The stitching may be another fabric that can scratch your paint.
      The Absorber(tm) - A popular product available at many different stores, The Absorber soaks up a claimed 50% more water than a cotton towel
      Chamois -
      California Water Blade - The Blade is a ~1 foot long piece of "medical" grade soft, bendable silicone that will conform to the changing surfaces of your car as you wipe the CWB over it. It looks almost like a windshield wiper. It will scratch your paint if it catches any dirt or grit, so be sure to clean the blade after each pass, and never use it to wash rain water off of your car. The CWB has mixed opinions on it, some can't seem to use it without it chattering over the surface, others love it. Myself, I think it is great for removing water from the large surfaces (trunk/hood/roof), then I follow up with a towel to finish drying.
      Microfiber Towels -


      I'm going to write more later, but I'm at work now. Enough goofing off.



      Modified by Triumph at 8:29 AM 6-20-2003

      -Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

      I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."

    4. 06-23-2003 04:00 AM #4
      Lets now add some good Glass Cleaners

    5. 06-23-2003 10:46 PM #5
      I really meant hard water spots, i can't get them out even with 20/20 and Stoner glass cleaner.

    6. 07-04-2003 05:12 PM #6
      For cleaning glass, I use Plain blue Windex and newspaper (no lint)
      After I'm satisfied that the glass is "clean" I grab my tub of polishing compound and do 1 window at a time. After the polishing compound, its onto a good paste wax applied by hand and removed with a buffer. For tight corners, I use my Dremel.
      Anyone who has seen my car knows I am fanatical about perfect glass. I would have Oakley make my windows if it wouldn't put me in the poor house.


      Modified by Clean97GTi at 5:14 PM 7-4-2003

    7. Senior Member Lima's Avatar
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      07-21-2003 06:40 PM #7
      Here's a link to my debadging/rebadging thread:

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=933352

      Cheers Liam


    8. 07-21-2003 10:17 PM #8
      adg44, please allow me to restate what you have already done.

      While I and my company would love to provide all of you the set of charts, please, understand, as I am sure you have, they are not all that helpful unless one has a certain amount of professional detailing knowledge, the correct tools, etc.

      Plus, as I am sure you can share, after receiving them, they are rather expensive.

      To all, I do appreciate the emails, and I have attempted to respond to all, but it is just not possible to provide them to other than professional detailers who are committed to our program which is directed at attempting to improve the image, the dedication, the "do it right" pro detailers.

      Thanks again to all, sorry for not being able to fulfill your requests, just too darn expensive and as stated, would not really be of aid to most.

      Ron Ketcham
      (ketch)


    9. Member Triumph's Avatar
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      07-22-2003 09:59 AM #9
      Tips for cleaning and conditioning leather

      A few tips for cleaning and conditioning your leather:

      - The hotter the better! Hot leather will soak up conditioner much better than cool leather, leaving you with less greasy residue and more assurance that the conditioner is getting down into the material and really doing its job. If the temp is in the 60's or 70's, let it sit in direct sunlight to warm up the interior nicely.

      - Leave the conditioner to soak in for a few hours in a warm car, before wiping off any residue. Your seats will tell you if you've used too much or too little.

      - Use your hands to apply the conditioner. This works it into the material and gives you soft smooth skin, if you're into that.

      - Cleaning/conditioning twice a year is probably good enough. Once when the weather starts getting warm and once before it starts getting too cold. For reasons mentioned above, I wouldn't expect to see great results at temperatures below say, 65F.

      - Prevention is key. Repairing cracked leather is harder than preventing it. Tinted windows and windshield sunshades will also have positive benefits for the longevity of your leather, blocking harmful UV rays. Besides, tint looks cool.

      -Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

      I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."

    10. 07-24-2003 08:47 PM #10
      less painful way to apply tire dressing:

      make a circular cardboard cut-out the same diameter as your wheel, hold it in place, and spray your tire dressing like a madman. this way you won't have to worry about dressing over-spray on your nice wheels.

      cleaning mesh-style wheel "spokes"

      gross! look at that brake dust!
      what i have done, is bought a little brush that kinda loops..you know what i'm talking about. well, i bent the looped wire in there down to make a flat brush with bristles on all sides. take some water and your wheel cleaner of choice spray it, and perform the old 'in-out, in-out' on each of the spokes. it takes some time of course, but the results are great.

      it's still tough to clean between each and every bolt, and the smaller 'mesh' thingies that don't go all the way through.


    11. Member Red Baron Golf's Avatar
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      07-25-2003 11:34 AM #11
      Leather care info thread, incl. info on VW, Lexol and Leatherique:

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=515653

      ________________________________________________
      1995 VW Cabrio 5spd
      2011 Honda Odyssey Touring
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    12. Moderator Jesstzn's Avatar
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      07-25-2003 12:20 PM #12
      Couple of tips you might find handy

      1) I use the kitchen sponges that are yellow with the green scouring pad back to apply tire dressing. Spray the dressing on the foam side and apply to the tire .. no more overspray on your clean wheels or up on your paint. These are like $2 for 12 at your local dollar discount and at this price disposable when they get dirty.

      2) Use Westleys Bleech Wite to clean your tires before applying your favorite dressing. Once you spray this on your tire you will crap when you see the brown crud run down. As with car waxing a well prepared black tire will look better when dressed up. If you have non-cleared alloy wheels protect them from the spray.

      3) To apply your black trim dressing like Back To Black etc try using a foam paint applicator ( Foam wedge shaped brush on a plastic or woden handle) to put the dressing on. This allows you to get in those hard to reach places and also great for doing straight edges on the rubber around the windows. Just make sure you wipe off the excess so the coat is uniform.



      Modified by Jesstzn at 9:51 PM 8-1-2003


    13. 08-02-2003 07:13 PM #13
      Car Washing Tips:

      - First RINSE REALLY WELL. Take your time and do it right to ensure you remove as much of the loose dirt as possible. If not, expect scratches. Rinse each and every crevice really well; dirt gets trapped there too and will find its way to the wash thingy. I don't recommend a power washer as it can overcome certain pressure seals, but the highest water pressure your house provides should be fine. I think a really thorough rinse should take about 15 minutes.

      - Wash. I'm not going to recommend a particular car wash, but here's my method and rationale. Wash from the top down. Not front to back or sectionally. Start with the roof. Then the windows, then the hood and trunk, upper side panels, inside door wells, lower side panels, then the wheel wells, underbody, tires, and finally rims. The rationale is that most of the dirt that sticks and doesn't come off during even a good rinse is at the lower body. If you start there, expect the dirt to get trapped in your wash thingy and scratch the rest of your paint. Also, never ever ever use your wash thingy for your paint for your wheels; use a different one.

      - Wash the wash thingy. Clean it many many times during washing the car. I recommend a separate 20 gallon bucket of only water for this; return it there for a rinse before you resoap it in your suds bucket to prevent dragging dirt into yoru soap and onto your paint. Remember to throw the wash thingy in with your laundry for a thorough cleaning.

      -Rinse. This time low pressure water fall flow is perfect. It will allow all the water to sheet off the car leaving less for drying. Someone's already talked about drying, so I only have one thing to add, make sure you shake all the lint from that towel or chamois or you will drive yourself nuts!

      If I'm washing my car for a detailing, it takes me about an hour. For any in-between wash, like 30 minutes. Sometimes a rinse and dry is plenty.

      Do it with friends, and you won't know it's work


      Modified by pocket at 7:15 PM 8-2-2003


    14. 08-09-2003 12:55 PM #14
      Heres a excellent site to check out as well
      http://www.properautocare.com/index.html


      Modified by EuroDubbin at 1:56 PM 8-9-2003

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      08-22-2003 01:50 PM #15
      Most folks there know me. Here's a link to my entire detailing routine, with list of products. Works very well.

      http://forums.audiworld.com/detail/msgs/8901.phtml


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      08-22-2003 01:52 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by basshead22 »
      Lets now add some good Glass Cleaners

      Eimann Fabrik Clear Vision. Best stuff on the market for cleaning glass.

    17. Member
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      08-22-2003 01:54 PM #17
      Even simpler. Use Eagle One tire swipes. Spray the swipes with the dressing (I prefer One Grand ERV) and then wipe on.


    18. Moderator Jesstzn's Avatar
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      08-22-2003 02:31 PM #18
      Even less money .. same results
      12/$1 at your local discount store



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      08-24-2003 09:04 PM #19
      Personnally, these are not as nice as tire swipes. They are not only curved perfectly to cover the tire and not touch the wheels, but they have a hard little handle that's great at preventing the wet dirty tire dressing from getting on your hands. Last about a month also.

    20. Moderator Jesstzn's Avatar
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      08-24-2003 09:48 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by Ted K »
      Personnally, these are not as nice as tire swipes. They are not only curved perfectly to cover the tire and not touch the wheels, but they have a hard little handle that's great at preventing the wet dirty tire dressing from getting on your hands. Last about a month also.

      Personnaly Ted .. they are so .. I have used both. The swipes got just as dirty as the foam and when you try to clean them they fall apart. Some here are on a budget and can't afford all the luxuries like Swipes and the high end detailing products. I wouldn't recommend them if it didn't work .. the green side gives a place for a firm grip and if the dressing is applied to one end of the pad only you get none on your hands .


    21. 08-28-2003 12:08 PM #21
      Plain water and some #0000 steel wool.

    22. 08-28-2003 10:38 PM #22

    23. Moderator Jesstzn's Avatar
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      09-01-2003 10:50 AM #23
      Gum on the carpet/upholstery

      Got discarded gum on my sandal yesterday, hot day .. 80f+ got in the car and promptly smeared it on the carpet but the tranny hump.. and rubbed it in with driving. I tried the freezing method to remove it but instead of ice I took a can of "Canned Air" used for cleaning computers. I turned it upside down and sprayed the gum. It froze instantly then a little rubbing with the finger nails lifted it right out and I had the shop vac there and sucked it up. Biege carpet ... purple gum.. 100% gone. Only thing I would do different is use a spoon to rub it off with ... nearly froze my finger tip.


      Modified by Jesstzn at 7:52 AM 9-1-2003


    24. 09-01-2003 11:46 AM #24
      I have found that a baby bottle brush works great to clean mesh/hard-to-clean wheels. They come in several different levels of brisel stiffness, find one that is not to stiff but will still clean without scratching.


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      09-02-2003 04:29 PM #25
      What happens if you wax your car without removing old wax or using dawn dish soap first?


      Modified by Golf GTi 8v at 1:31 PM 9-2-2003

    26. Member audiphile's Avatar
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      09-17-2003 10:15 PM #26
      hmm... tricks....

      the chamois (a.k.a. "shammy") is your friend. Headliner stains can even be removed by a bit of all-purpose automotive cleaner on a chamois.

      if you have access to compressed air, that, along with a detailing brush (tooth brush) will make quick work of dash/doors... great for vents and speaker grilles. Just spray the dash/door liberally with cleaner, go into any cracks with the brush, blow out the liquid with the gun, wipe clean with a cloth.

      I am a detailer if you haven't guessed... I'll peak my head in again to see if there's any questions I can help with.

      dasjettakartell - immortalized on the wall, forgotten on the floor

      #HOTTESTCHICKINTHAGAME

    27. Moderator Jesstzn's Avatar
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      09-17-2003 10:42 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by audiphile »
      hmm... tricks....


      if you have access to compressed air, that, along with a detailing brush (tooth brush) will make quick work of dash/doors... great for vents and speaker grilles. Just spray the dash/door liberally with cleaner, go into any cracks with the brush, blow out the liquid with the gun, wipe clean with a cloth.

      How does it sit with someones expensive speakers after you squirted cleaner in them then blew all the crud into them.. Sure glad your not detailing my car


    28. Member audiphile's Avatar
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      09-18-2003 06:13 PM #28
      I dunno, ask the auction house

      Obviously doing what I said is a good idea with stock speakers in a well protected grille. I don't do it in my car, because I have infinity components.

      I'm glad I'm not detailing your car too.

      EDIT: this is supposed to be a how-to thread anyways, obviously take anything posted on the internet using your own discretion. If it makes you feel better I will add a disclaimer to the end of each post I make in this thread, that way you won't pollute this supposed to be helpful thread with useless comments.




      Modified by audiphile at 8:01 PM 9-18-2003

      dasjettakartell - immortalized on the wall, forgotten on the floor

      #HOTTESTCHICKINTHAGAME

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      09-19-2003 08:07 AM #29
      Have any of you tried a product called "Dry Wash?" It's a light green liquid in a spray bottle. You never have to use water on your car, and you can clean the whole car with this stuff, even the tires and rims. It's a cleaner/protectant. Spray it onto a section of the car, use one rag to wipe it in, making a cloudy area on your car, then take a second rag and wipe it off, leaving one shiny and smooth surface. If you want, take a third rag and go over the car again to get any left over film off. Now most of you may be thinking, "this stuff must scratch the car if you don't rinse it first." Well...no. It doesn't, and if any of you can find this stuff, I'd recommend buying it.

    30. Moderator Jesstzn's Avatar
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      09-19-2003 10:27 AM #30
      Quote, originally posted by truckn13 »
      Have any of you tried a product called "Dry Wash?" It's a light green liquid in a spray bottle. Now most of you may be thinking, "this stuff must scratch the car if you don't rinse it first." Well...no. It doesn't, and if any of you can find this stuff, I'd recommend buying it.

      I will leave that for you to use. The idea of properly washing is to lift the particles away from and off the paint. We have a Dry Wash dealer here .. His car always looks nice with a great shine. Untill you look in the light... it is so badly swirled the paint nearly looks flat. Even the use of Quick Detailer on an overly dusty car will produce swirling.


    31. 09-25-2003 07:14 PM #31
      It is okay to put the dressing on the black plastic parts before washing the car???

    32. 09-28-2003 04:25 PM #32
      Quote, originally posted by mk4driver22 »
      I have found that a baby bottle brush works great to clean mesh/hard-to-clean wheels. They come in several different levels of brisel stiffness, find one that is not to stiff but will still clean without scratching.

      That's exactly what I was going to say, except you want to stay away from the 'bristle' style brushes as they are intended to very thoroughly SCRUB milk and junk out of bottles, and may scratch painted wheels (of which 100% of newer VW's come with). I use the sponge style bottle cleaner, and it's basically a sponge wrapped up aroung a coat-hanger like wire that is set into a plastic handle.. a little torqueing back and forth and the wire breaks and you've got a sponge on a wire. What I do next is, I take that wire and actually stick it into the end of my drill. Lock it down, spray some SimpleGreen (vary concentration based on how much crap is on your rims - you never want to use harsh 'wheel cleaner' chemicals) and then you can just stick your spinning sponge cleaner in all the little places I used to get hand cramps trying to get my fingers in. Spray it off with some nice cold water and you're good.

      As far as Glass cleaner, I think I found "The One" with this. It's called SpryWay. I got mine at Costco (it might be at Sam's club too), and it came in a six bottle pack for about eight bucks I think. It totally rocks for three reasons:
      1 It's a foam, so you can see where it's at, it doesn't run (at all unless you put too much) and a little goes a long way
      2 It is ALWAYS streak free. You could wipe it across your window and when it dried you'd have no streaks (I've tested this!);
      and 3 It's safe for all surfaces so if you accidentally get some on your leather door inserts or on your seats you don't have to worry about dis-coloration or the leather drying out. Plus, it just smells really good and leaves a fresh clean scent in the car that is not overpowering. I learned about this stuff from a guy who replaced my windshield once, and he gave me the rest of his bottle and told me where to get it. A couple years later I had a different windshield replaced, and this other guy was also using it, so I think a lot professionals know about it.

      One thing that a friend-of-the-family told me (who has owned a family run Auto shop for the last 32yrs - he's done it for 18 of them) is that most of the major products out there are comprised of almost all the same ingredients... i.e. you are not going to get much of a better product going from 3M to Meguires to Mothers to any 'professional' grade stuff. I use Meguires because they have a very large line of different products that meet specific needs, and from many of the car shows that have winning cars a good portion of them use Meguires too. A really cool thing to do is check out this website:

      http://www.meguiars.com/carrx.cfm

      It's a tool that recommends what products to use, because they recognize that someone who lives with sea-salt blow up in SanFrancisco is going to have different needs than someone who endures 112 degree heat in Phoenix, ya know? It takes into account almost everything about how your car is damaged and suggests the right product.


      Oh, and lastly (sorry for the long post) I would highly recommend spending the $30-40 on a Random Orbit buffer. They make polishing, waxing (applying AND removing) and other things just that muck easier, and since it's Random Orbit you don't have to worry about swirl marks as much.


    33. 09-28-2003 04:33 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by truckn13 »
      Have any of you tried a product called "Dry Wash?" It's a light green liquid in a spray bottle. You never have to use water on your car, and you can clean the whole car with this stuff, even the tires and rims. It's a cleaner/protectant. Spray it onto a section of the car, use one rag to wipe it in, making a cloudy area on your car, then take a second rag and wipe it off, leaving one shiny and smooth surface. If you want, take a third rag and go over the car again to get any left over film off. Now most of you may be thinking, "this stuff must scratch the car if you don't rinse it first." Well...no. It doesn't, and if any of you can find this stuff, I'd recommend buying it.

      As I said in my previous post, I have a good friend that owns a body shop. I asked him if there was any way to clean your car in between washings if you have a good wax on there.. he was shaking his head no even before I finished the sentence! You should always use a good quality "car shampoo" to wash your car before you try to remove dirt for several reasons.. you need to LIFT the dirt away from your car, and the foam in the wash doesn that. You also need to remove the grease, pollutants, oxidants, and minute particles that get physcially embedded in the paint (before you use a clay bar for them), and you can't do that if you don't have any water or soap to carry away the top layers of dirt. Simple answer, there are NO shortcuts for proper vehicle maintenance, inside or outside of your car.


    34. 09-28-2003 05:31 PM #34
      Quote, originally posted by Golf GTi 8v »
      What happens if you wax your car without removing old wax or using dawn dish soap first?


      Modified by Golf GTi 8v at 1:31 PM 9-2-2003

      Please don't EVER USE ANY TYPE OF DISH SOAP ON YOUR CAR!!! Besides the wax, which is a protective layer over the paint, paint in itself actually does have it's own nutrients and minerals that give it it's elasticity and deep gloss... if you use dish soap or any type of soap that breaks down those nutrients, your paint will start cracking earlier, it'll look dry all the time, you won't be able to make it look good no matter what you do. If you have done this, then you need to go buy some type of glaze for your car, I recommend Meguires no 7 Show Car Glaze. You apply it to the car like wax, then you let it SIT, for at least 30mins but I recommend an hour. Basically doing that will allow your paint to soak up all of the nutrients it needs to look deep and glossy again and then you just wipe or buff off the excess..

      As far as removing the wax, you don't need to. Wax will come off with washings over time, and if you have properly prepped the paint surface before applying wax, there is nothing underneath the wax that needs to be removed. Basically you just wash like normal, attend to any surface defects you might have, and then wax. Here's my whole routine, since I've basically said it all anyways:

      1 Wash/Dry (Once a week or as needed for conditions) Wash car IN SHADE, or wait for dusk if you can do a lot of detail work inside your garage (note: regarding drive through car washes...I personally wouldn't take my car through anything that I wouldn't WALK through. I have in the past gone through a 'touchless' wash when it has rained for a solid week or more and it wasn't feasable for me to do it by hand, and while I don't recommend it because those water jets are really high preasure, if you have to it should be okay, just make sure you are ALWAYS keeping a good protective layer of wax on your car). Use a good Car Shampoo and never ever ever any household cleaners, like dish soap. If you have bird droppings or tar, get a non-chemical cleaner designed for bug and tar and just let it sit for 5 or 10 mins (mine favorite is Turtle Wax Bug and Tar and Sap because it's a conditioning oil-based solution that breaks down the contaminents and actually separates it from the car so you damage to the paint) , it should come right off. Dry your car. A word on Micro Fiber Towels: be very cautious of which ones you buy before using on paint. Look for MF towels that are DESIGNED to be used on cars. There are many many different types of MF towels that range from 20,000 TC to 100,000+ TC, and some are made with more polymers that are better for cleaning and don't work as well on cars. The polymers in some MF towels are not specifically abrasive, but, contrary to popular belief, the hooking action of some polymers can damage clear coat, creating a 'glaze' effect on your paint. If you could imagine taking a plastic bag and balling it up and rubbing on your car, it's like that. . That's why they are able to clean so effectively is because of the hooking/scraping action. I have found a few companies and local shops that sell 100% Pure Terry Cloth MF towels, and I use those with a leather chamoise. The chamoise removes a majority of the water and then detail with the 100% Terry cloth MF towels. Also, open all of your doors, trunk, and hood and close a couple of times to get water beads out of the cracks so you can dry em up, and roll your windows down and up a couple of times. If you just bought regular terry cloth towels, wash and dry them a couple times to break off loose threads and fibers so they don't get left on your car. Never use fabric softener when drying any towels or pads you are going to use on your car.

      2 Clay Bar (about twice a year). If you are washing your car, and you take your bare hand and go over it and you can feel grit or little sand particles that don't wash off, or basically your car just does NOT feel like glass, you need to do this. It is AMAZING to see the difference if you've never done it. My car was brand new, and after a year I could feel a lot of that becuase of freeway miles. The paint felt like GLASS after I was finished, I was exstatic! It also removes oxidation that the shampoo can't get off (you'll see it because the clay is usually yellow and it'll start turning reddish-brown even though you just finished washing your car).

      3 Remove Paint Flaws (as necessary). The Clay Bar will help some, but for more use a swirl remover and a RA buffer if you can, or when you haven't clay-barred. If the scratch or imperfection doesn't come out, got to a Fine Cut cleaner, and then if not that a Medium Cut cleaner. If it stil doesn't come out, you may want to consult a body shop, because repairs that go beyond that are very sensitive and very circumstantial on how they are treated. Always use a foam pad with the RA buffer, as wool pads can be much too abrasive, and terry cloth pads are not as smooth as foam and won't come out as smooth. You might want to use wool if you are already up to the Medium Cut cleaner. Remember, don't overdue it - when youf fix these imperfections you are removing clear coat or paint to do it, so don't go crazy be conservative, and don't press to hard on the buffer, let the movement do the work (can you move your arms around 3 THOUSAND times a minute? I sure can't! ).

      4 Surface Prep (every three months or about as often as oil change). Use a swirl remover or a fine cut cleaner and just go over the car to remove any very minor paint imperfections. If an area of the car really doesn't have any, just go over lightly. This does not have to be very rough, becuase a lot of the imperfections are hidden with wax if they are minor enough.

      5 Polish (at least six times a year, but you can every month if you feel like it!) Use a Glaze or Polisher that is not as abrasive as Swirl remover to give your car that last mirror polish. I recommend the glaze, especially on dark cars, because it gives the paint nutrients that will help with scratch repair in the future, and really give it a nice deep deep gloss (almost looks like you have a layer of glass over your paint ). This is the step that will take your car from "nice" to "Daayyuuuummmmm!". Just apply it like you would swirl remover, let it sit for a few, and then buff it off.

      6 Protect/Wax (once a month). Get a really high quality CARNUBA based wax and apply it in non-repetitive patterns on your ride. let it dry until it will almost just brush off (it will if it is a good quality wax) and then buff it off. Never use circulare motions if doing by hand. These can actually be mistaken for swirl marks. Use big oval motions going first up and down for a couple strokes then left to right for a fews. This should keep things random enough to look really nice! Or just use a RA buffer . I can't stress enough how easy a RA buffer makes things for you! I recommend a liquid wax most of the time - they are just easier to work with and faster to apply, plus they tend to go on more even and you don't accidentally put on too much. You CAN put on too much wax... only the part that touches the car bonds to the paint, anything else comes off anyways and just makes your job a big pain in the arse. I use Meguires High Tech Yellow 26 (because it works BOMB with clear coat..) or there are many good ones out there. After you finish buffing it off, if there is any residue just follow up with Detailers Mist, or I use Meguires Final Inspection no 34. Don't go for Gimic waxes - i.e. "You never have to wax your car again! You can take a flame thrower to it and it'll never damage!!" No, they don't 'wax' airplanes and no wax or anything else you could put on by hand out of a little bottle could withstand flamethrowers . Come on, people! Didn't your Mommy and Daddy ever tell you if it's too good to be true, it probably is??!!

      6 Up-keep/Touch-up (daily, bi-daily, whenever needed). I have a California duster. I have heard mixed things about it, but I use it and it works well, as long as the car is DUSTY. Not DIRTY, just DUSTY. I think that's were people go wrong. If you push dirt around on your car, it scratches. Dust will come off and as long as it's not too thick, it won't scratch anything. You can also take the brush part off and throw it in the washer (liquid soap, no fabric softener same as your terry cloth towels). I use Mequires no 34 Final Inspection to polish it back up after dusting. Remember, if you have to do more than dusting, you're BACK AT STEP 1! I wash my car sometimes three times a week because I live in a state where it is impossible for the weather guy/gal to be correct.

      So here is the schedule:
      Daily (just like anything else, you gotta clean your toys before you put them away! : Dust and detail.
      Weekly: Wash/Dry.
      Monthy: Polish and Wax.
      Three-months (oil change schedule): Suface prep, AND removing more than minor paint flaws.
      Six-Months (March after Winter, September after summer): Clay Bar for deeper settled contaminents.

      You think, "Why wouldn't I take out scratches and more-than-minor defects when they come up, and not wait three months?". Well, simply put, because it's easier that way. It takes a good three to four hours to finish everything (that's WITH a RA Buffer and after some experience!), and you don't want to put yourself through all of that when you are going to do it in one or two months anyways. If the defect is major enough that it bugs you that much, you should probably take it to a shop and have them check it out anyways. Rule of thumb, if it catches your fingernail when you lightly drag over it, or if it is wider than a dime, you probably need some professional help, up to and including re-painting.

      Good luck y'all! Hope this helps! This is all my experience, and I don't work for a body-shop, but I have put a lot of personal time into my ride and have done a lot of homework a long the way, so IMO are defenitely appreciated! Also I don't work for Meguires, I just have had good experience with them, and in my opinion you should keep one line of products because they're usually designed to work with each other.

      EDIT: I changed my mind about MicroFiber Towels.. see above in Wash/Dry!

      EDIT: I corrected my view on MF towels to be less biased.

      EDIT: Removed the word 'oil' and replaced with 'nutrients' - some people were getting anal about my terminology If you know what I'm talking about, then just leave it alone!!!



      Modified by SN2BDNGRZB55 at 7:18 PM 11-9-2003


    35. Moderator Jesstzn's Avatar
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      10-02-2003 06:58 PM #35
      Quote, originally posted by SN2BDNGRZB55 »

      1 Wash/Dry A word on Micro Fiber Towels: be very cautious of which ones you buy before using on paint. Look for MF towels that are DESIGNED to be used on cars. and that say they are 100% Cotton Terry cloth. Contrary to popular believe, some MF towels are actually made up partially of polyesther/polymers (plastics basically) that are not abrasive, but are not soft either. I use a leather chamoise and MF TERRY-CLOTH towels- remove a majority of the water with chamoise and then detail with the 100% Terry cloth MF towels.

      Can you tell me where to buy 100% Terry Cloth MF towels?
      Every MF towel I have seen/bought is no terry cloth.
      The secret of the Microfiber towel is a state-of-the-art matrix of polyester and polyamide weave. Usually 75/80% polyester and 20/25% polyamide.

      Microfiber cloths are made from a new blend of 70% Polyester and 30% Polyamide. A single strand of microfiber is approximately 1/20th the diameter of a strand of silk. There are over 90,000 micro fibers per square inch of cloth. And each average microfiber terry cloth measures 15" x 15". That's over 20 million fibers in 1 cloth. These tiny micro fibers disperse dirt, grime, film, dust, and collect it deep in the cloth to be rinsed away when washed. Re-use over and over, microfiber cloths usually last for years of use.


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